The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) deployed additional personnel and assets to help in the humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) operations in Visayas, days after it was battered by Typhoon “Agaton.”
Colonel Xerxes Trinidad, spokesperson of the Philippine Army (PA), said on Black Saturday, April 16, that the Eastern Visayas-based 8th Regional Community Defense Center (RCDG) and the 804 CDC deployed reservists to assist in search and retrieval efforts for landslide victims in Barangay Bunga, Baybay City, Leyte and Barangay Cadac-an, Abuyog, Leyte.
Army’s Reserve Command, 604th CDC and reservists from the 604th Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion also repacked and distributed aid for flood victims in Oton, Viejo and Batad towns in eastern Iloilo.
Prior to this, the Army’s 3rd and 8th Infantry Divisions previously sent HADR teams in the wake of the flooding and landslides left by Agaton, the first tropical cyclone to affect the country this year.
The HADR teams, hand in hand with responders from other government agencies and local government units, cleared landslide-hit roads; distributed aid for displaced families; rescued stranded families in flooded communities; and helped in the search and retrieval efforts for landslide victims.
Meanwhile, additional search and rescue teams were also deployed by the Philippine Air Force (PAF) in Tacloban City. Personnel from PAF’s 505th Search and Rescue Group and PA’s 525th Engineer Combat were mobilized in Abuyog and Baybay City to find possible survivors and retrieve cadavers in the landslide-hit areas.
The Philippine Navy’s (PN) Naval Forces Central (NFC) and Naval Reserve Center Eastern Visayas also facilitated the hauling of 27 tons of relief items which were sent to the typhoon-affected communities in Leyte.
“We will mobilize the needed assets in support to the local government units to fasttrack the delivery of relief goods and basic services to the affected communities,” said Lt. Gen. Robert Dauz, commander of the Visayas Command (VISCOM).
“VISCOM, as your Servant in the Visayas, will sustain our efforts in providing the needed assistance so as to alleviate the distress of the people who are experiencing hardship brought about by the recent calamity,” he added.
Police Gen. Dionardo Carlos, PNP Chief, revealed that at least 2,898 individuals in Visayas were rescued by search and rescue teams from various police units.
There were also 80 bodies retrieved by police personnel in Central and Eastern Visayas.
So far, the death toll due to Agaton has already reached 167. There were also 110 people reported missing and eight others who were injured. (